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MtW CEO reflects: 2022 CEO Summit and Youth Employability Awards

Last month I had the pleasure of hosting the Movement’s annual CEO Summit and Youth Employability Awards. My first events since joining the organisation in February and the Movement’s first face-to-face Summit and Awards in two years!

The events brought together senior leaders from business, youth outreach organisations, charities, government and young people from across the country, to discuss the most significant issues relating to youth unemployment today and to celebrate the wonderful achievements of individuals and businesses across our network; none more so than our young people. The videos below give a sense of the electric energy and inspirational people in the room on the 28th March.

At a time when youth unemployment is nearly three times the national average, focusing on how we can better work together to tackle some of the most prominent challenges and barriers to work which young people are facing, has never been more of a priority.

We were honoured to hear from a number of young people who spoke openly about their experiences and career journeys, including the difficulties they have overcome to enter the workplace. They told us how the opportunities they have been given have helped to transform their lives, setting them up for long and successful employment; testament to the value youth employment programmes continue to provide to young people up and down the country.

The energy in the room really highlighted the commitment of our network to find solutions and ensure more young people have access to high quality job opportunities.  Some of the key points discussed include:

A lot of young people still don’t know where or how to look for jobs or support. How can we help them to find out about, access and navigate the various opportunities and programmes available to them? For example, how do we better connect to young people in local communities and what can we do to ensure outreach goes beyond the school environment?

We need to meet young people where they are. We need to focus recruitment activity on the needs of the young people being recruited, ensuring recruitment processes are inclusive and flexible.

Interviews for example are not always necessary for some roles, with people better demonstrating their suitability for a job during a trial period.

We also need to ensure youth employment programmes are always designed around the needs of young people. Identify the cross-sector and interpersonal skills needed by young people, in order to be set up for success and enabled to pivot where demand is; a focus on digital skills and sustainability will be key.

Hybrid programmes offer the best of both worlds.  As the country continues to open up post-lockdowns and we find ourselves navigating new ways of working, we shouldn’t forget the positives the shift to online working and learning has brought. For example, the democratisation of meetings and the opportunity to hire young people in more rural areas who may not have had the opportunity before.

We can and need to do more. Our young people need us now. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing incredible youth talent wasted. Young people need work and employers need smart, creative young people.  We have a responsibility to our younger generation. Put simply, they are our future and by helping them into work, we are not only helping to create a fairer world but helping business and the country’s economic growth.

In order to drive change, we must continue to monitor the challenges and barriers to work and action solutions in a way that is sustainable for all but which also delivers at pace. This means keeping the conversation alive with businesses, young people and our partners. To help enable this, we’re delighted to be launching a series of regular roundtable events for our network members. More to follow on this soon.

A big thank you to all who attended our events; to our speakers, our panellists who shared their experiences and everyone who contributed to this important conversation. By coming together and discussing the actions we can collectively take to help more young people work, we can continue to make a difference to the lives of many more young people across the country. I look forward to continuing our work together to achieve this.

To our award winners and nominees, a huge well done again. You are proof of the incredible scale of the potential of young people everywhere and proof of what’s possible when our network comes together to support and nurture this talent. Keep going.

As ever, if you’d like more information or are thinking about joining the Movement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team. We’re ready to support.

Gillian Churchill is CEO of Movement to Work. Connect with her on LinkedIn









Watch the videos below for highlights across the CEO Summit and Awards…

Hear from the amazing award winners!


The Institute of Student Employers (ISE) has found that young people aren’t staying in their jobs as long as they used to before, and this is a looming threat for employers.

Graduate turnover during the pandemic climbed to the highest level since the ISE started collecting the data in 2011, while high inflation and stagnating salaries could further heighten this issue.

Turnover rates for graduates have been on an upward trend since 2011. Companies are now retaining 72% of their graduates 3 years after they join, down from 79% in 2011.

More young people are citing dissatisfaction with pay as a reason for moving on, increasing to 40% in 2022 compared to 28% in 2021.

Staff turnover is highest in the legal sector with just 28% of graduates retained after three years. This is in stark comparison to health and pharmaceuticals, which has an 80% graduate retention rate.

The turnover of staff straight out of school or college – typically those recruited onto apprenticeships – has also been rising. Retention has sunk to the lowest point with only 71% retained after 3 years, a similar level to graduates.

A third of respondents said that the pandemic had increased the turnover of young people in their business, with employers facing a particular challenge in retaining young people with Black and Asian heritage, and those experiencing mental health issues.

As a result of retention issues, the majority (63%) of employers have implemented initiatives to try to improve the situation, but it now seems that salary may be the main determining factor.

To read the full article please access this link.


The Chancellor has announced that he will review the apprenticeship levy.

In his spring statement, he said said a review of the apprenticeship levy will be part of a new Treasury tax plan, which will be finalised in the autumn.

Sunak said:

“We lag international peers in adult technical skills. Just 18 per cent of 25-64 hold vocational qualifications, a third lower than the OECD average,”

“And UK employers spend just half the European average on training their employees,”

“So we will consider whether the current tax system including the operation of the apprenticeship levy is doing enough to incentivise businesses to invest in the right kinds of training.”

Treasury documents published just after the speech outline the government’s new ‘Tax Plan‘. The plan has four themes; cost of living, capital, people and ideas.

Under ‘people’, the Treasury states that “the government is increasing skills funding significantly over the parliament. We want businesses to do the same.”

Calls for flexibilities of the apprenticeship levy have come from employer representatives for years, with various sectors wanting to use funds for other training courses and associated apprenticeship costs like travel and wages.  It would now seem that the Treasury has finally acknowledged these calls for reform.

To read the full FE Week article please click here.


The burden of tax falling on workers and employers has increased as a hotly-debated rise in National Insurance payments takes effect.

In September, the government announced the rise in contributions from April 6th, in part to help ease the burden on the NHS.  Employees, businesses and the self-employed will pay an extra 1.25p in the pound. The extra tax is earmarked for government spending on social care.

Earnings levels at which people start to pay income tax have been frozen, increasing the chances of employees being dragged into a new band, with a higher rate of tax, if they receive a pay rise.

Employees pay National Insurance on their wages, employers pay extra contributions for staff, and the self-employed pay it on their profits.

From now on, employees will pay National Insurance contributions on earnings above £9,880 a year. From July, it will be paid on earnings above £12,570 a year.  Taken together, the measures mean that, over the next 12 months, anyone earning less than about £34,000 a year will pay less in National Insurance than they did the previous year, while those earning more will see their payments rise.

It means that, instead of paying National Insurance contributions of 12% on earnings up to £50,270 and 2% on anything above that, employees will now pay 13.25% and 3.25% respectively. The self-employed will see equivalent rates go up from 9% and 2% to 10.25% and 3.25%.

To full article can be found here.


Hundreds of young lives have been transformed as Homesense reaches the £1 million fundraising landmark according to the Prince’s Trust.

Lifestyle brand Homesense, which is part of TJX (known as TK Maxx and Homesense here in the UK), has raised this money to help young people build a better future for themselves since it first partnered with the Prince’s Trust in 2016.

Through a mix of support from Homesense customers, who bought products launched by the brand to help raise funds for the Trust, alongside till point donations and employee fundraising, has all contributed to Homesense being able to raise this staggering sum to support the work of the Trust.

The money raised has helped us to fund the education programme Achieve and has supported more than 1,500 school-aged young people who have struggled in the traditional school environment to build their confidence and skills.

A link to the Prince’s Trust article can be found here.


The UK government will not introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting despite widespread calls for it to do so.

Sharing the update as part of its response to last year’s controversial Sewell report, the government has said it will help organisations undertake reporting, as well as discouraging use of “unhelpful” terms such as ‘BAME’.

Published on 17th March, the action plan, entitled Inclusive Britain, sets out more than 70 actions that aim to reduce racial disparities across the country.

While the action plan does not introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, it outlines that the government will publish guidance at a later date that will assist organisations planning to provide voluntary reporting.

However, experts have expressed dismay at the government’s refusal to commit to mandatory ethnicity pay reporting.

The People Management article can be found via this link.


Asda has revealed plans to offer Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK a guaranteed job interview.

The refugees coming from Ukraine can apply for a job and will only need to tick a box confirming their nationality on the Asda job site.

This can guarantee them an interview as long as they have the appropriate qualifications for the roles advertised.

The supermarket said it has about 1,500 roles available across stores, warehouses and sourcing and procurement departments.

Earlier this month, Asda announced a £1 million package to support displaced Ukrainian families in Europe and the UK.

The full news article can be found here.


A flexibility allowing universal credit claimants to undertake training for up to 16 weeks has been extended for a second time.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency announced today that the flexibility will now last until April 28, 2023.  It had been set to end next month.

The flexibility, originally announced as a 6 month pilot in March 2021, increased the amount of time claimants could study full-time, work-focused courses while still receiving benefits, from eight weeks to 12 weeks.  This then went up to 16 weeks if the claimant was on a skills bootcamp and now applies to all types of work-related training if the person is in the “intensive work search group” for universal credit.

Universal credit claimants in the intensive work search group will be able to attend full-time, work-related training opportunities lasting up to 16 weeks across Great Britain as part of their work search activity. This flexibility has now been extended until 28 April 2023,” an update from the ESFA said.

Universal credit claimants will need to get agreement from their work coach to ensure this is the right support for them and appropriate for the local labour market.

This news article can be accessed here.


The Trussell Trust has said that 2 in 5 people on Universal Credit have been “forced into a downward spiral of debt this winter” because payments have not kept pace with rising bills, leading to people feeling overwhelmed by debt.

The Trust commissioned an online survey by YouGov of 1,506 adults claiming Universal Credit between 24th January and 15th February 2022.

The charity, which runs food banks across the UK, found that 1 in 6 of those surveyed had visited a food bank at least once since the beginning of December, while 1 in 3 people had more than a single day without food or only one meal last month.

The research also suggested that 1 in 3 Universal Credit claimants had not been able to afford to heat their homes for more than 4 days over last month.

Unfortunately, the current situation is set to get worse as the government will only increase benefits in September by 3.1% in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate.  This is well below the predicted 7% rate of inflation forecast by the Bank of England.

In response, more than 50 charities, including Save the Children UK and Child Poverty Action Group, have called on the government to increase benefits by at least 7% later on this year.

The full article can by accessed via this BBC News link.


According to Personnel Today, organisations should ensure that they are on top of the raft of employment law developments that will apply in April 2022.

There are 6 changes that need to be considered, which are: –

  • Planned rises in national minimum wage rates;
  • Gender pay gap reporting deadlines;
  • Increases to statutory redundancy pay;
  • Increases to statutory family-related pay and sick pay;
  • The end of HMRC’s IR35 enforcement “grace period”, and
  • Changes to right to work checks.

Employers are encouraged to make sure that they are aware of changes to legislation so that they are in a position to act appropriately.

Full details of the Personnel Today News Article can be accessed via this link.